‘He’s very pale’: Woman accused of wheeling dead ‘uncle’ into bank to sign for loan

Itau Bank

RIO DE JANEIRO — A Brazilian woman is accused of wheeling a dead man she claimed to be her uncle into a bank to sign for a loan, authorities said.

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Érika de Souza Vieira Nunes, 42, was arrested and charged with attempted theft by fraud and abusing a corpse, police said. She claimed that the man, identified as 68-year-old Paulo Roberto Braga, was her uncle and would sign papers for a $3,250 loan, Reuters reported.

The loan had been approved by the Banco Itaú but still needed Bragu to sign off on the paperwork, according to CNN.

“Anyone watching the video can tell he was dead,” Fábio Souza, the lead police investigator, told the television network Globonews,” according to The Washington Post. “Can you imagine her? she was touching him. She knew he was dead.”

Security cameras captured the bizarre interaction at the bank, located in the Rio de Janeiro suburb of Bangu, on Tuesday at about 2 p.m. A video quickly went viral, Reuters reported.

According to security footage, Nunes held a pen and moved the unresponsive man’s hand forward while propping up his head, The Telegraph reported. Staff members who expressed their concern about the man were dismissed by Nunes, who allegedly told the corpse to stop giving her a “headache,” according to the newspaper.

“Uncle, are you listening? You need to sign (the contract). If you don’t sign, there’s no way, because I can’t sign for you,” Nunes can allegedly be heard saying in the video, Reuters reported.

A bank employee can be heard in the video saying, “I don’t think this is legal. He doesn’t look well. He’s very pale.”

Staff members told Nunes that Braga did not appear to knowingly consent to the loan and called for an ambulance, The Telegraph reported. Paramedics confirmed that the man was dead, and Nunes was arrested, according to the newspaper.

Souza confirmed Nunes’ arrest to The Telegraph. He added that an investigation was ongoing, and that officials were trying to determine if Braga was alive when the loan was arranged.

Nunes’ attorney claimed that the man died at the bank, Reuters reported. However, forensic analysis conducted by law enforcement officials determined that Braga had died earlier while lying down.

Souza said investigators identified the presence of livor mortis (the settling of blood no longer circulated by the heart), which showed that he was lying down when he died, and not sitting up, the Post reported.

Nunes told investigators that Braga was discharged from an area hospital on Monday after a bout with pneumonia, according to the newspaper. Security video taken Monday shows Nunes leaving the hospital with Braga, who was still alive, in a wheelchair.

He was dead by the time Nunes attempted to complete the transaction on Tuesday, police said.

“She attempted to fake him signing for the loan,” Souza told The Telegraph. “He already entered the bank dead.”